Sunday, January 8, 2012
Every once in a while I take a "medication vacation". I don't quit taking anything that would endanger my well being or vital functions, but I discontinue my pain medicaiton and any other extraneous meds that might be messing with my metabolism. I wait it out as long as I can, and then start again.
This isn't the wisest choice. Tonight I found myself after approximately 36 hours without pain meds in a heap o' pain. I had some withdrawal symptoms the first day, which lets me know that I am physically dependent on the medicaiton. The pain, which I do not medicate to the level my physicians want me to, came back stronger and stronger and stronger the longer I was off the pain medication. I always have this bizarre hope that the meds will wear off and the pain will be magically gone. This is not based on any fact or any basis of reality.
The medication vacation helps me realize how much pain I am actually in, and why I take the medication I do. With chronic pain I think you loose perspective on how much pain you are experiencing. After all, what is the difference between excruciating and untolerable? It is a very fine line that gets very blurred. I fear I will think I am in pain just to continue getting pain medications, I fear that my pain might be imaginary, I hope it has disappeared and fear it has not. When I cannot discern how intense the pain is or how overwhelmed I am because of it I try to see what life is like without the medication. It also helps my gastroparesis and my digestive system perks up for a few hours, which is the best part of stopping pain meds.
I thought my pelvic pain has increased since the cathertization marathon began but I wasn't sure. I thought that my nausea has been getting worse but I wasn't sure. I thought that the neuropathy and leg cramping has increased but I wasn't sure. I am now.
Intense pain wears me out and I haven't been sleeping well the last week. I'm not sleeping well tonight either - why I am up writing this I guess. I caved at about 2 AM and took some medication and will put my pain medication patches on in a short while. Some medication was left in my system as 36 hours was not enough to clear everything out so at least that gave me a bit of a jump start from my own idiocy. I lasted longer than the previous medication vacation I took in October - only 24 hours that time.
I knew I had to start the meds back up again when I woke up from a short nap with tears running down my face on on my pillow, and I was clutching my stomach and (gasp) my pelvic region from the pain. It is hard to describe because you can't point to a certain spot and say - THAT is what is causing the pain. It is general and it is specific to certain nerve groups all at the same time. It is enternal and external.
The Headache is not liking me tonight. Seeing as The Legs and The Belly were already in revolt, not amazed The Headache decided to flare up too. It's not too bad, so hoping I can get everything controlled before The Headache gets too riled up.
I have work to do this weekend. I had not really planned on but that is what I get for taking two days off last week, two extra days this weekend. Not really complaining, just very hard to concentrate. Not sure if I should keep trying. It gets harder and harder to work a 40 hour week, and lately just 40 hour weeks have been few and far between. Even thought I have tried very hard to communicate what I am going through, I am sure people at work are thinking about all the deadlines we have to meet and what needs to get done - not realizing that if I am not well enough to drive, I am also hard pressed to sit or stand or do anything that requires concentration. I don't think I can do this job anymore. I want to keep going very badly (or is that very badly want to keep going?? I don't want to keep going if I have to do it BADLY!!)
ALL of my doctors have told me this fall to hang up my hat and go on disability. Easier said than done. Financially I don't know how I will be able to do it. I thought my new employers had long term disability only to find out in December that although they had paperwork we signed that said we had long term disability we were supposed to read between the lines and realize it was not offered. ARGH! Well, they probably would have had a preexisting clause in it like they do in their short term disability, so I would not have any coverage anyway. sigh. My health insurance is excellent, but if I go on Cobra (and we are big enough now they have to offer it) I don't know how I will be able to afford it. I also don't know how I will be able to afford pain medication without insurance. Another reason for the medication vacation - am I paying for something I really don't need?? Bigger sigh.
Going to drag out my fentanyl patches (I can't find my Tegaderm patches to put on top of them - where o where have they gone - two BOXES of them) and slap them on and try to sleep a little while. Then up and at work again. Ah well, at least its a diversion!!!
Wishing I had a Fast Car to Get Myself Outta Here...My body's too old for working....but I know Things will get better...